SAN DIEGO | Zach Davies won his career-best, fifth-consecutive start and Mitch Moreland hit his first homer for the Padres as San Diego beat the Colorado Rockies, 5-3, to complete its sweep of the three-game series on Wednesday.
Davies (7-2) was fantastic, after allowing a run in the first, as he tied a season-high with eight strikeouts, plowing through the Rockies with his changeup and splitter. He gave up three runs on five hits, with two walks, over six innings as the Padres won their fourth straight game.
“The changeup has been my pitch this year and has always been my favorite and best pitch,″ Davies said. “It’s about trusting it in every count, every situation, even to guys that hit it well.″
Trevor Rosenthal, the third Padres’ reliever, pitched the ninth for his ninth save.
No one in the majors throws a higher percentage of changeups than Davies and he mostly kept Colorado away from hard contact — before Matt Kemp’s go-ahead, two-run homer in the sixth.
“You tip your hat,″ Davies said. “He’s a good hitter and he has played the game a long time. He had a plan and he executed. But with (our) offense, you just get the last out and give it a chance to answer back.″
The Padres seized a 4-3 lead in the sixth when Wil Myers’ triple scored Moreland after he opened with a walk. Jake Cronenworth’s sharp single through a drawn-in infield brought in Myers.
“Every time (Davies) gave up runs we did a good job of answering back,″ Padres manager Jayce Tingler said. “He was really good again and just kept throwing that changeup, down and away. He did a really good job of managing that lineup, which is a tough lineup.″
Antonio Senzatela (3-2) nearly matched Davies. He was touched for Moreland’s two-run home in the first and navigated through a scratchy second when the Padres loaded the bases with one out.
San Diego leads the majors with seven grand slams but Senzatela retired Trent Grisham on a fly and Fernando Tatis, Jr., via a fielder’s choice.
The Rockies’ right-hander went five-plus innings, giving up four runs, six hits and four walks, with two strikeouts. He was chased in the sixth before recording an out.
“I just put it in my mind that I needed to battle, make better pitches to get out of the innings,″ he said. “I did a really good job until the sixth.″
Kemp gave Colorado a brief advantage in the sixth as he continues to produce against his former teams. Four of his five home runs have come against the Padres, and the other one, versus the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Moreland pushed the Padres ahead, 2-1, with his first-inning shot, which followed Manny Machado’s double. It was Moreland’s initial homer since joining the Padres on Aug. 31 after being acquired from the Boston Red Sox.
“It’s been a tough go for me here so far,″ Moreland said. “But it felt better the last couple of days
and I was able to get a good pitch. It felt good. To be able to come up, with two outs and answer them, it was good to come through and be able to contribute a little bit.″
The Rockies struck in the first when Trevor Story’s solo homer, his 10th blast of the year, came off Davies’ 79 mph changeup.
“He did a good job of keeping us off-balance, mixing those speeds,″ Story said. “His changeup is one of the better ones, for sure.”
Padres: OF Tommy Pham (hand) took batting practice on Wednesday. Pham is scheduled to face live pitching at the team’s alternative training site this weekend and he could return next week.
Rockies: RHP German Marquez (2-5, 4.58 ERA), who has lost four straight decisions, faces the Los Angeles Angels to begin a three-game series on Friday. Marquez pitched well in his last time out on Sept. 5 when holding the Los Angeles Dodgers to two runs and five hits over seven innings.
Padres: RHP Chris Paddock (4-5, 4.75 ERA), who has lost two of his previous three starts, will go against the San Francisco Giants in the opener of a four-game series on Thursday.